My friends in the sky

Before moving to Mexico in early 2007, we lived for a while in Spokane, Washington, where the sky — when not chemtrailed into gray oblivion — often treated me to sylphs. The unnatural colors in some of them are the result of “Auto Levels” in Photoshop.

These are presented at actual size. Apparently at some Data Zen moment, I decided they individually didn’t warrant more than 10 kilobytes of precious storage space 😉

Sylphs, Spokane, 2006

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Gone walkabout

My recent absence from blogging comes from having gone walkabout in the USA without a laptop computer. In other countries, you can find internet cafes everywhere. In the USA, you can find connections everywhere, but without your own computer, more dedication is required. And I enjoyed being offline. Not only that, but one day I logged on to find 11 new friend requests – so apparently shutting up and staying offline enhances my popularity in MySpace. (I’ll have to remember that.)

We were exploring the idea of relocating. From Spokane, we drove south through central Oregon, and through California to Flagstaff, Arizona. Appalled by the extent of the real estate bubble there, we took a side trip to Bisbee – I had never seen that particular tourist trap / ego – er, artist – colony. We stayed in an historic hotel, calling the police at 2 AM to report some blues-harp playing drunk piercing the silence (a sign on the hotel door advised of Bisbee’s noise ordnance, and suggested the popo). Next morning, extending our travel a half mile to gaze into the open-pit mine in town before returning the way we came, we were sold on the idea of continuing to Douglas, through a serendipitous encounter with a stranger in the mine-overlook parking lot.

We had previously very little interest in looking at Douglas, Arizona; it seemed rather grim. So, true to form, after a few hours we made an offer to buy a house so we could live 1.4 kilometers from the border of Mexico. (We haven’t heard back yet from the owners of the house.)

Then we drove home through Phoenix, Flagstaff, past Bryce Canyon, through Salt Lake, up into Idaho and Montana and back into eastern Warshington – some rather spectacular scenery. Yes, gas is getting a bit pricey, but every time the price of gas went up so did the value of a crude oil futures option I purchased (the option is for 1,000 barrels of oil, so the rising price of oil I’ve potentially purchased in the future more than offset what we consumed in our little road trip).

OK, OK, OK, I know: you find it a little hard to relate to someone who casually takes off for ten days to wander around without a particular plan (we had a lovely visit and met a couple of great-nieces for the first time in California), who casually makes an offer to buy a house 1,200 miles away, and who talks about obscure things like crude oil futures options. So, ignore that and check out this gem: the Mohawk Restaurant in Crescent, Oregon, somewhere south of Bend. The sign out front says ‘animal and bottle collection.’ If that’s not reason enough to go inside, consider too that it was the only place to eat within walking distance of our motel.

I can’t begin to capture the ambiance, nor exhaustively catalog the critters (who cares about the bottles?), procurement of which might land you behind bars these days. For example, the Great Horned Owl my little red arrow points to…

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…or the Green Sea Turtle above the fireplace.

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If you find the idea of dining in the presence of them off-putting, then you’d probably find no charm at all in the two-headed calf (about to be attacked by a Golden Eagle?) and the two-head whatever just aft of it.

Yes, I said two-headed calf. Don’t be too judgmental, because…

…her daddy seems rather proud of her. That’s a Gerenuk there with the long neck, and I know that little deer behind seems too small to be real. However,

…what more appropriate way to commemorate the fetal fawn from a pregnant roadkill? (Don’t you have any imagination at all?) There were something like 26 of those little things, in a variety of sizes.

So, have you saved some room for dessert?